In a nutshell
This study assessed the possible relationship between fertility drugs and cancer risk.
The results showed a significant link between fertility drugs and thyroid cancer and melanomas, which requires further investigation.
Cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth. Fertility drugs, such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid), are drugs that stimulate cell growth and development in order to assist with pregnancy. Multiple previous studies have investigated the risk of hormone-dependent cancers (such as breast or ovarian cancers) with clomiphene citrate treatment. However, the association between fertility drugs and other cancer types is still unclear.
Methods & findings
This study followed 9,892 women over 30 years. During the study, 91 cases of colorectal cancer, 84 lung cancers, 55 thyroid cancers, and 70 cases melanoma were diagnosed. Clomiphene citrate was being used by 38.1% of women.
Clomiphene citrate was not found to be associated with increased colorectal or lung cancer risk. However, the risk of developing thyroid cancer was increased by 57% among clomiphene citrate users. Women receiving higher doses of clomiphene citrate (doses greater than 2,250 mg) were especially at risk.
The risk of developing melanoma was increased by 95% among clomiphene citrate users. Women receiving clomiphene citrate at an early age (since before the age of 30) were especially at risk.
A higher risk of colorectal cancer was noted in obese women using clomiphene citrate and among smokers using clomiphene citrate.
The bottom line
The study indicated that clomiphene citrate treatment is associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma and thryoid cancer. Authors recommend monitoring for malignancies in patients receiving fertility drugs.
Published By :
Fertility and Sterility
Jul 29, 2015